“I am the red dot,” a commenter remarked poignantly on a post to our page of an infographic about herd immunity. As an immuno-compromised person, she is reliant on herd immunity to protect her from diseases that could be life-threatening to her. Like all immuno-compromised people and parents of immuno-compromised children, she watches slowly dropping vaccination rates and sees the inherent risk in simply going about her daily life increasing. This is what makes the vaccination issue so critical, it’s herd immunity that moves vaccinating from a personal choice to a public health issue, and so we want to take a moment to look again at herd immunity, and why it’s so important. Continued
Diving headfirst into researching vaccines usually involves learning a whole new vocabulary. To make it easier to read studies and scientific papers, we’ve put together a glossary of some commonly used terms. Did we leave anything out? Let us know!
Adjuvant: An ingredient of a vaccine that helps enhance the immune response, generally by helping recruit immune cells to the site of immunization. Adjuvants are a component of the vaccine itself and are included during the manufacturing process, not mixed in later. Continued
As we launch our new blog, I wanted to take a moment to draw back the curtain and address our audience personally. Hi, I’m Liz Lynch; I’m one of the founders of The Vaccine Page, and I wanted to take a minute to tell you a bit about why we’re here and what we want to do.
Like a lot of you, I’m a parent. I have two little boys, and – I’m going to be honest with you – before I became a parent I did not give a lot of thought to vaccination. I felt comfortable with the safety information that I was provided, and while I was aware of Jenny McCarthy’s campaign against vaccination and Andrew Wakefield’s discredited study, vaccines just weren’t something I spent a lot of mental energy on. I knew there were parents who didn’t vaccinate, but until stepping into the world of online parenting forums, I was under the impression it was a very small group that was on the decline. I had no idea that there were parenting subcultures in which vaccinating parents were the minority and where the mere mention of booster shots would be viewed with suspicion and disdain. Before I had a Babycenter account and a raft of Facebook groups with which to chat with other parents, I thought that vaccine hesitancy was limited to a very small group of extremists, certainly not something that might apply to someone I would ever know. Continued